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Northside halls to be torn down for new residence

Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

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Meagan O'Toole-Pitts

McInnis Hall is one of three residence halls to be demolished in 2011. The halls are being torn down to make room for a new hall.

On-campus living is the preferred residence choice of many Aggies. For some, their choices may be limited come August 2011, but not for long.

Demolition for Crocker, Moore and McInnis halls is scheduled for summer 2011 to allot space for a state-of-the-art residence facility.

In 2007, the Department of Residence Life and the Residence Hall Association student leadership conducted a campus-wide study and generated short- and long-term plans for enhancing the on-campus student living environment. These plans pushed for high-quality, long-term living options for students to ensure on-campus facilities continue to be the choice in student accommodations.

The 600-bed Northside residence, yet to be named, is scheduled to open in August 2013. Crocker, Moore and McInnis halls house approximately the same number as the new facility. The hall will be Texas A&M's first new residence facility since 1989.

The capital plan for the project, which was approved at the Board of Regents meeting in July, is estimated to cost $58 million.

"Building a new Northside residence hall is the next major step in our ongoing effort to enhance service to our students living on campus," said Chareny Rydl, director of Residence Life. "The new facility also will allow us to better manage increased campus enrollment projections, create desired academic enhancement and collaboration initiatives and provide modern apartment-style living accommodations as preferred by an increasing number of students."

The Crocker, Moore and McInnis halls area was selected for the project based on numerous factors, including the Student Housing Master Plan, which includes a plan to renovate campus halls, decreasing desire for corridor halls and a renovation lifespan reached this year for McInnis Hall.

After the 2011 spring semester, Crocker, Moore and McInnis will no longer be housing choices and will not be a choice in Housing Decision 2011.

Students living in these halls the semester prior to the demolition will have priority decision in Housing Decision 2011. One alternate might be the Phase II apartments opening August 2011.

"Students will have an integral role in the planning process for the new residence hall, relocations of residents and in commemorating Crocker, Moore and McInnis and their history as part of campus living and honor their place in the lives of Aggies, the ‘heart of their experience,'" Rydl said.

North Area offices in these halls will be relocated. Details on the location have yet to be determined.

The construction of the new residence hall has positive effects for A&M students.

"Data shows that on-campus living is advantageous to students in terms of engagement, involvement and academic performance, so the upgrading of facilities will make the on-campus living experience even more positive," said Carol Binzer, director of administrative and support services for the Department of Residence Life.

Students also agree the hall will be a quality upgrade from Crocker, Moore and McInnis halls.

"I'm glad they're tearing down [McInnis Hall]," said Joe De La Peña, freshman business major and McInnis resident. "We need a new building already."

While constructions plans are still being formulated, Residence Life's intent is to vacate the facilities in May 2011.

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